FAIRFIELD, Idaho — This year is the 37th year of operation for Camp Rainbow Gold, which is Idaho’s only full medical camp, with accessible facilities, according to camp organizers. The camp serves children who have cancer and their families and they continue to make its services free of charge.
“If someone didn't say this was a camp for kids with cancer, you'd have no idea,” Youth Camp Director Benjamin Schile said. “These are just kids, and a lot of times they've grown up in hospitals. They haven't had a chance to be a kid.”
Rainbow Gold spent the last three decades leasing other temporary sites. Now, for the first time, Rainbow Gold finally has its own plot of land.
"No other camp is retrofitted for our needs. There's no wheelchair paths. There's no ramps, that type of thing," Schile said. "To be able to have that and create it and mold it into what we need for our kids is something very special."
Purchased in April of 2019, the 170-acre plot of land sits just outside Fairfield, Idaho. Camp organizers didn’t expect to open the site for use for another year or two, but the hard work of volunteers and counselors got the space up and running well ahead of schedule.
“This kind of volunteer service renews my faith in humanity,” Schile said.
From bikes tracks to archery ranges, ropes courses, water fights, and everything in between, all activities are set up with the proper equipment to accommodate the needs of any individual.
“When you get them up here they can't play with their phones. They have to play games,” Schile said. “They do have an appreciation for life at another level that maybe someone doesn't get til they're much older.”
The camp has already been approached by a number of other non-profit organizations that are looking to lease the campsite, according to camp organizers. Rainbow Gold is now looking to raise an additional $6 million to build more fully accessible bathrooms, cabins, and other facilities.
You can learn more about Camp Rainbow Gold and their camp schedules here.
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